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On September 13, 2022, the City Council approved changes to Council Policy 600-24 which defines the roles, responsibilities, and standard operating procedures of CPGs. These changes focused on improving transparency, records retention, broadening community representation and reflecting CPGs' legal status as independent organizations, consistent with the City Charter.
In early 2023, the Planning Department will provide additional information and resources to assist existing and potential new groups with the application process for City Council recognition. Starting in 2024, the Department will the present the applications to the Land Use & Housing Committee and City Council. As part of the approval process, the Department will evaluate the applications received for each community planning area for City Council consideration. Existing Community Planning Groups should continue to rely on their bylaws up until the City Council recognizes them or a new group for a community plan area under the revised Council Policy 600-24.
The City Council adopted policies in the 1960s and 1970s that established and recognized community planning groups as formal mechanisms for community input in the land use decision-making processes. In 1966, the San Diego City Council formalized this government-citizen relationship with the adoption of Council Policy 600-05. The organization and structure of the relationship were further clarified in 1976 by the City Council’s adoption of Council Policy 600-24 , ‘Standard Operating Procedures and Responsibilities of Recognized Community Planning Groups.’ In addition, the Administrative Guidelines, assist planning groups with their understanding of CP 600-24. Community Planning Groups (CPG) are required to adopt operating procedures and responsibilities, otherwise known as bylaws, which must be consistent with the requirements of the Council Policy. The bylaws ensure that the group will represent the community at large, will solicit input from the community and will operate in a fair manner.
On Oct. 27, 2006, the City Attorney issued a memorandum of law advising that Community Planning Groups (CPGs) and the Community Planners Committee (CPC) must comply with California's Open Meeting Law, the Ralph M. Brown Act. The purpose of the act is to ensure the actions and deliberations of public bodies occur openly with public access and input. A summary of Brown Act references within Council Policy 600-24 is provided. For more information, view the presentation on the Brown Act presented at previous Community Planning Group Orientation Workshop or the video below. The League of California Cities Open and Public Handbook is also mentioned at the end of the training video as a helpful resource related to the Brown Act.
Attendance by all community planning group members at a Community Planning Group Orientation Workshop is required by City Council Policy 600-24. In order to meet the criteria for indemnification, this training must be completed within 60 days of being elected, or as soon as it is scheduled.
The workshop is typically offered once a year in the spring following annual elections in March and typically includes review of Council Policy 600-24 and the development project review process. If a planning group member cannot attend the workshop in person or via Zoom, newly elected Board members can take the the Electronic Community Orienation Workshop Online at their convenience. For more information, email SDPlanningGroups@sandiego.gov.
Since 2015, the Planning Department’s General Fund budget has included funding for the purpose of supporting Community Planning Group (CPG) operating expenses, such as those related to maintaining CPG websites, printing, and furthering public outreach.
Each CPG is responsible for exercising a strict fiduciary responsibility, ensuring adequate internal controls exist within each group, and requesting reimbursement of eligible expenses prior to the end of each fiscal year.
For more information please email SDPlanningGroups@sandiego.gov.